Sunday, January 24, 2010

Review: "Called to Worship" by Vernon M. Whaley

An insightful look at the Biblical view of worship, Vernon M. Whaley’s “Called to Worship” makes for a compelling read... if you don’t mind the length. Though repetitious and long-winded, the book provides principles of worship based on the various people, events, and books of the Bible.

Whaley spends well over half of the book discussing concepts from the Old Testament, recounting well-rehearsed stories from the Bible and drawing applications for worship. His complete recounting of these stories, however, adds an unneeded length to the book and often makes for a tedious read, giving “Called to Worship” the unpleasant feel of a textbook.

Perhaps Whaley could have saved some extra space (and some of his readers) if he had organized his book by theme instead of by book. Some of the most important principals, found in the New Testament portion of Whaley’s book, are not given enough pages, and many of Whaley’s points are lost in confusion due to what seems like contradictions that may be explained in the latter half of his book if only he would put half and half, one and one together.

Whaley does call attention to one of the most important and compelling aspects of worship: putting God first in our lives (in other words, dedicating our lives to Him in full obedience). Whaley reminds his readers that Christians should not allow idols to replace God. Some of his points on this topic are confusing and contradictory (at least they seem that way - he doesn’t account for the difference in covenants when he writes about the consequences of sin), but for the most part, Whaley gives a strong, scripturally-based argument that makes the reader think.

“Called to Worship,” overall, does make the reader think... that is, if the reader has enough patience to finish the book. God designed man to worship Him, but man often tries to fill the God-shaped hole in his life with worldly idols. Whaley brings readers back to God’s “call to worship,” the kind of worship man is meant to act out.

This book was reviewed in exchange for a free copy of the book for

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